Well-wishers pay tribute to man who announced his own death online
A terminally ill businessman was expected to end his life on Monday after appearing to have used his LinkedIn networking profile to announce the date of his death.
in January, said in what appeared to be his professional profile: “I died in Switzerland with Eternal Spirit on Mon 19 Oct 2015 and my funeral was on Fri 13 Nov 2015.”
Binner, the operations director at a health and social care organisation, was reported to have gone to a clinic in Basel where he was to be helped to die, .
The Eternal Spirit clinic is similar to the more famous Dignitas, which also facilitates people with terminal illness to die.
In a section on the profile entitled Patient, it also reads: “My MND accelerated very rapidly. The initially thought I would last until 2017/2018, but they were mistaken – no worries, it’s an inexact science!
“I don’t recommend MND! Better to have one massive fatal stroke or be killed instantly by a drunk driver! There is nothing that I can say that’s positive about MND.”
In a video filmed with the law firm Bindmans LLP, his wife Debbie Binner, a former Sky News presenter, said her husband strongly believed he had the legal right to choose when he would die.
She told how Binner, a Cambridge University graduate, was rushed into choosing when he would die because assisted death is illegal in Britain.
In a clip posted on YouTube but subsequently removed, Debbie Binner said: “He doesn’t want to go to and he doesn’t want to go into a hospital. He wants to be at home as much as possible with his friends and family.
“And I think the most important thing to say is that Simon believes if that was available in the UK he may well want to stay alive longer. Christmas would be lovely for us to have Simon.”
In the clip, Simon Binner, who spoke with a slur, said: “I don’t want to go to Switzerland either. I want to be here for Christmas but I can’t be because I don’t know. I have to go.”
Tributes from well-wishers were left on the .
Kirsty Williamson said: “Incredibly brave. Thinking of Simon Binner and his family today.”
“I’ve been following Simon’s story since my gran was admitted to hospital to die 8 days ago. I’m still here by her side while she passes. I wish she/we had the choice for her to go without dragging out her suffering,”, wrote Kon-ick MacFarlane-Hunt, another Facebook user, adding: “Can’t help but feel moved and touched by Simon’s story. Brave man!”
Andrew Copson, the BHA chief executive, said he supported a change in the law for those who were terminally and incurably suffering to end their lives, provided they had made a rational, committed and uncoerced decision.
He said in a statement: “We were very sorry to learn that his condition had deteriorated to the extent that he now must travel to Switzerland in order to end his own life much sooner than originally planned.”
“The tragedy at the heart of Simon’s story is that if the law allowed people with incurable and terminal conditions to seek a doctor-assisted death in this country, he and others like him would have more time to spend with their loved ones before their conditions became intolerable for them,” Copson said.
He added: “The current law heaps unnecessary suffering and trauma on to families like the Binners. Our thoughts of course continue to be with them at this difficult time.”
, leads to muscle weakness and often to visible wasting. People with MND find it difficult to walk, speak, swallow and breathe and eventually the person may become unable to move.
There are about 5,000 people living with MND in the UK, according to the NHS. There is no cure.
The cap on the number of books inmates can have in their cells has been scrapped following pressure from a campaign backed by leading literary figures. Prisoners are now allowed to keep more than 12 l